As for the issue of standardisation, Xia conveys that when complex flavours are concerned, such as AOC wines, or single malt whiskey, it is difficult to standardise. The same goes for high-grade tea.
“With Ksana, our focus is on achieving high-level standardization. Through sensory evaluation, we extract volatile aromatic substances from tea to study and anchor signature flavors. For instance, our Guangdong oolong, “Shui Han Xiang (水含香),” boasts a caramelized peach flavor, while the Taiwanese oolong, “Qing Yu (青玉),” offers the distinctive taste of green-skinned peaches. Despite the inherent variations between tea leaves, we work diligently to control these differences to a point where it becomes challenging for mass consumers to discern, while ensuring the recognizable presence of our signature flavors” Xia explains.
Advocating that Chinese tea can be integrated into modern urban life and accompany consumers at work and at home, Ksana’s product line is divided into entry, advanced, and high-end – selected from various specialty tea producing areas in China and supervised by intangible cultural heritage masters. At the entry level, they have tea bags (suitable for both the hot and cold brew methods), which is a convenient form for drinking tea (prices start from 69.90 RMB for 10 bags of 2.5g).
“Just because it is in a tea bag does not mean sub-par tea leaves should be used. ” says Xia, emphasizing that Ksana fundamentally believes in delivering quality. “We like to think of tea bags as a different ‘way’ to enjoy tea rather than a different ‘category’ of tea, more like convenience vs a sense of ceremony.”